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Passengers brave the elements

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In the lurch: Passengers have to wait for buses without a roof over their heads near the Vellayambalam junction.
In the lurch: Passengers have to wait for buses without a roof over their heads near the Vellayambalam junction.

S. Anil Radhakrishnan

Bus stops and bus bays at many busy junctions do not have shelters

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Commuters have to brave the summer heat at busy junctions as bus stops and bus bays on roads improved under the City Road Improvement Project (CRIP) do not have scientifically designed shelters.

When the city received summer showers recently, many commuters got drenched waiting for buses at LMS junction, Ayurveda College, Statue, Asan Square, University Library, Martyr’s Column, Mascot, Vellayambalam, Kowdiar and Ambalamukku. The bus shelter at East Fort, used by hundreds of people daily, is in a dilapidated condition.

The City Corporation has set up bus shelters at some busy junctions with private participation. But these cannot accommodate even 50 people.

Transport planners say the Public Works Department and the civic authorities have not taken steps to set up scientifically designed bus shelters on the Kowdiar-Vellayambalam stretch, which has been made six-lane under CRIP. Near the St. Joseph’s Cathedral at Palayam, commuters wait in a temporary thatched shed.

Bus bays for parking

Although bus bays have come up at Kowdiar, Vellayambalam and Museum, these have not been made functional.

At places such as Kowdiar, the bus bays are being used for parking.

“Trees have to be chopped for allowing the buses to enter the segregated parking bays. We are looking into the issue. The segregated parking bay away from the Vellayambalam junction for buses going to the Kowdiar side will ease the traffic problems near the mouth of the Kowdiar-Vellayambalam road,” a top PWD official told The Hindu.

On the Kowdiar-Vellayambalam-LMS junction stretch, the commuters stand on the road for boarding buses. As the buses to the LMS side stop on the road near the Vellayambalam junction, traffic snarls are a regular feature.

Queue system

Road safety experts say drivers of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation and private buses should be made to stop the buses only at designated bus bays without blocking the road. The traffic police should ensure that the buses enter the bus bays in queue as in the metros. The commuters will benefit from it more if a passenger information system is installed.

As setting up of bus shelters has not been included under CRIP, the commuters will have to continue braving the elements for the time being.

“The setting up of bus shelters has not been included under CRIP. Since maintenance contract has been given for 15 years, we cannot rope in other agencies,” the official said.

The Vellayambalam-Vazhuthacaud and Kesavadasapuram-Plamood stretches, which had been made four-lane, also lack properly designed bus shelters. Complaints have come up against the bus shelters set up by the Corporation with private participation as they do not meet the Indian Road Congress specifications. Under these, the bus stops should be located 60 metres from a junction.

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